Gloss it!

This page is meant to work as an ever-growing glossary of terms I have come across and wouldn’t know what they meant. Hopefully this might save someone an extended G**gle search or two some day.

Explanations are mine, even when Wikipedia might offer a more in-depth solution. I simply like to keep it simple. Please feel free to comment any errors that have been made.

Please consider digging this page to make sure it becomes visible for people who might want to use it. Thanks!


D

  • Desktop environment (DE) [vs. window manager (WM)]: A desktop environment is the graphical interface for an OS and in the case of Linux usually consists of a window manager (WM), a file manager, themes (different visual representations of the same thing) and programs to configure the desktop.
    A window manager is part of a DE and is managing the display (i.e. appearance and placement) of windows in the graphical user interface, often including the task bar. Note that some distribution descriptions don’t name a DE but only a WM. That doesn’t mean that the distribution doesn’t have a DE. The combination of WM and the other components simply doesn’t have a unified name, and the WM is the most prominent feature of a DE.

W

  • Window manager (WM) [vs. desktop environment (DE)]: A desktop environment is the graphical interface for an OS and in the case of Linux usually consists of a window manager (WM), a file manager, themes (different visual representations of the same thing) and programs to configure the desktop.
    A window manager is part of a DE and is managing the display (i.e. appearance and placement) of windows in the graphical user interface, often including the task bar. Note that some distribution descriptions don’t name a DE but only a WM. That doesn’t mean that the distribution doesn’t have a DE. The combination of WM and the other components simply doesn’t have a unified name, and the WM is the most prominent feature of a DE.

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